2011-2012

Mikaela Alexander

Mikaela Alexander
Junior, Christian Ministries major

I have chosen to study Christian Ministries with an emphasis in Mission here at GFU. I believe from the depths of my heart that true peace can only stem from the goodness and grace of God. I know that from a very young age, Christ has called me to be as much a part of this world as I possibly can be. He has been whispering to my heart about His compassion and love for all people, even those who have been major catalysts in causing much of this world's distress.

I have been able to study peacemaking in various degrees while at GFU, including studying how countries in high conflict situations have attempted to reconcile. During the Spring 2012 semester, I will be studying in Rwanda and Uganda through GoED Africa where I will learn specifically about peacemaking and community development.

God is obviously preparing me for a lifetime dedicated to planting and nurturing seeds of peace.

Emily - Grace Cropper

Emily-Grace Cropper
Junior, Sociology major

Growing up in the Friends church, I have come to learn that peace means more than the absence of war. It means that individuals are at peace with God, themselves, their community, and their world. Peace is important on a global level and a local level. If one level - personal, spiritual, local, or global - is not at peace, then it is the calling of an individual to help bring about peace. This goal of complete peace may never be realized, but what I have learned is that I find joy in working towards peace.

I went to a peace house in Rwanda and I will never forget what the leader said about his experience with the genocide: "If I am at peace but my brother is not at peace, then I do not really have peace." This man works as a peacemaker to heal relationships between the Hutu and the Tutsi. I would like to follow his lead and be a peacemaker on a relational level. I hope to work with children and help them learn about peacemaking in their own lives.

Daniel Golder

Daniel Golder
Senior, Political Science major

I grew up in the Balkan country of Albania. Simply by identifying the region of the "Balkans" people identify those mountains with brokenness, anger, violence, and hatred that has lasted for centuries. Hatred is a deep part of the region as nations have been fighting each other for centuries. I was nine-years-old when Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian dictator, began ethnic cleansing on Kosovar Albanians. Refugees from the genocide began to flood into Albania and I helped the churches house, feed, and care for these people.

Since then I have developed a passion for peace. I have seen first-hand the devastation of war and hatred. I cannot imagine anything further from the Kingdom of God. 

I plan on using my education to aid the Albanian people towards a deeper form of democracy. Bringing peace, true peace, to Albania is something that I care deeply about...My parents have been missionaries there for a long time, and I also have been called to give my life to the Albanian people.

Anna Johnson

Anna Johnson
Senior, English major

It seems that the road less traveled in this world is often the path of peace. If only each new generation would embrace on a grand scale the teaching that "blessed are the peacmakers," as Jesus affirmed so many centuries ago. I believe that Christ came to earth not only to redeem humanity from sin, but also to cultivate God's perfect and uniting peace amongst the communities and individuals of the planet. He came to show a broken world the power and necessity of Shalom.

Since elementary school I have been perturbed by the blatant cases of injustice I have witnessed against those with disabilities...In the face of such unfairness I have always sought to challenge my peers' misconceptions, especially through advocacy in the form of writing articles for local newspapers and by organizing events in which the disabled and non-disabled communities are allowed to interact.

As a future Special Education teacher I aim to bring this type of togetherness to my classroom. I have learned that only by seeking inclusion of those who are different can we create a world of peace and justice...I will use my pen and my voice to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Jeanette Edel

Jeanette Edel
Senior, Nursing major

My desire is to be a nurse and work in another country promoting peace and justice to those without. As a nurse, I will be more likely to gain access to a closed country to bring medical assistance, and while doing this I can also work with the people to promote peace and justice.

I want to bring the world I have come to know at George Fox, a positive, just and peaceful world back to other places where it does not exist. I want to make peace and justice normal in places where depression and brokenness are the norm.

Just reading the news shows the civil war in Libya and the government protests and resulting deaths in Africa and the Middle East. There is not peace or justice in these situations. I want to help bring peace, hope and justice. I believe that in orrder to have peace in a neighborhood, in Libya, and in the rest of the world you must first have it in your own heart. From there it becomes contagious and spreads to your environment and the people around you through your words and actions. 

I am excited to help turn someone's dark, discouraging "normal" into peace and justice.

Evan Dahl

Evan Dahl
Junior, Engineering major

On a global-level taking care of the poor is challenging. The poor are not only living on the street corner, they are everywhere. There are places in the world where people live in awful conditions, they live with no clean water, no roof over their head, no education. These are the people that Christians are called to serve. 

God has been working the dirt in my heart my whole life and has been planting seeds of service and compassion. I hope to dedicate my life to serving whom Jesus calls 'the least of these'. Some might ask how I intend to do that as an engineer. I believe there is a stereotype that states engineers are all about numbers and making money. I don't believe this stereotype to be true and I believe that as an engineer I can "do" peace in an active way. I want to be an engineer who "does" peace and justice in the world. I want to further God's kingdom by building structures for the needy of the world. There are families in Haiti still without homes, there are children without parents, food, or education in Africa, Japan was torn apart only days ago and is still far from recovering. This is the world we live in, a world that groans for Jesus to return. 

We will never be able to help everyone, but we can help some. We must simply go and "do". I believe this is the calling on my life.

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